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Thursday, February 7, 2013

AA/US Airways merger soon?

Per the USA Today, it sounds as though a merger between American Airlines and US Airways may be close at hand - possibly even next week.

You can find the full story here.

Personally, I'm mixed about this.  It's definitely plausible that American has to do something to stop losing money.  However, US Airways has its own issues.  It still has not resolved contracts with its pilots and flight attendants since its merger with America West.  It's management team hasn't always been positive on new or updated flight options for travelers.  And it's frequent flyer program is awful - you can't redeem awards for Star Alliance partners, and for those you can, you have to call. There's no telling what a merger will do to American's AAdvantage program, but most people are guessing that it will be devalued and longtime perks will go away (such as the 8 free systemwide upgrades to any ticket). 

There's also little doubt in my mind that a combined airline will stay in the One World Alliance, meaning one less Star Alliance partner with United. 

Mergers take a long time - maybe even a year or two - so major changes wouldn't happen for a while. But I'm skeptical of what will remain from the AAdvantage program once its done. 

Better use those systemwide upgrades while you can.

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